Choosing the Best Curling Iron for Thick Hair


Sep 17
best curling iron for thick hair

There are so many different types of curling irons on the market today. Sometimes it seems that there is almost too much choice! Wands, clamps, no clamps, cordless, ceramic, thick paddles, thin paddles. The list goes on and on. And it makes it really hard to know which one to go for. And that's even before you consider what type of hair you have. If, like me, you're looking for the best curling iron for thick hair, take a look at my review.

I've tried out the best that the market has to offer and have come up with a top 3 which are all up to the challenge!

The Best 3 Curling Irons for Thick Hair


remington curler

Remington CI9538 Ceramic Curling Wand

( 4.4 out of 5.0 )

  • Wider wand 
  • Quick heating
  • Takes skill


hsiprofessional curler

HSI Professional Ceramic Flat Iron Hair Straightener

( 4.4 out of 5.0 )

  • Adjustable Temp
  • Flexibility
  • More expensive


bed head deep waver

Bed Head Deep Waver

( 4.2 out of 5.0 )

  • Easy to use
  • Ceramic
  • Harder to get to roots

Why Buy a Curling Iron?

I've spend years diligently straightening my hair, creating a sleek, glossy look with not a curl, wave or flick insight. But things have changed. Beautiful long curly hair is everywhere. Done right, it looks amazing. A flattering style that best of all, can be done no matter what your hair type. It's a look that without a curling iron is almost impossible to create (unless you're a very experienced hair dresser, and even then, let's be honest, you'd probably struggle!)

And I ?did struggle for quite a while without a curling iron. Many an attempt was made to get the perfect curly look. I ended up looking more scarecrow than effortlessly glamorous. But really, with the choice available today, there's no need to struggle.

A Few Tips on Using a Curling Iron

?A couple of years ago I started to use a curling iron to straighten my thick hair, and I've not looked back. I do have a few tips to remember no matter what curling iron you go for: 

  • Always use on dry hair. Curling irons on wet, or even slightly damp hair will just mean frizz. No one wants this look! So whether you let your hair dry naturally, blow dry it, or straighten in with straightening irons first, remember: It must be dry!
  • What look do you want? For tighter curls go for a smaller barrelled iron. For larger, looser waves a larger barrelled iron is best.
  • The shorter your hair, the smaller the barrel! Definitely less than an inch.
  • If you want that curly look but are short on time, you can just pull your hair into a pony tail and curl the pony tail for quick easy waves.
  • Curl away from your face. And I mean always, curl your hair AWAY from your face. This not only gives a much more natural look, it also gives more volume to your curls.
  • Get into the root of things. The closer you can get to the root of your hair, the longer the style will hold. For thick hair this is particularly important. You want to avoid your curls getting weighed down!
  • Keep it cool. If your hair is color treated, setting the heat below 200 degrees Fahrenheit will really help protect it and keep your locks healthy.
  • Whenever you're treating your hair with heat, be that straighteners, curling irons or hair dryers you must protect your hair! Use a heat protecting product before going near your hair with curling irons to make sure your hair looks and feels healthy.

Why A Curling Iron Can Be Great for Thick Hair

If you have thick hair like I do, you're probably used to people commenting about how lucky you are to have such thick hair. And while this is true, thick hair can take more time to do. Creating the look you want with thick hair just does take more time. Because there's more hair! A curling iron therefore can really be your friend here:

    • Without a curling iron, curls will not hold in thick hair. Trust me, I've tried. And wasted a lot of time and effort (really my arms ached a lot when trying to achieve this look with a brush and hair-dryer!) striving for a curly look. Even when I've managed to get a great curl it just hasn't lasted. And having spoken to friends they've all said the same. You need a curling iron to have curls that last with thick hair.
    • Many different looks can be created, from loose curls to tight spirals and everything in between. Sometimes I really want to just have a few loose waves at the front of my hair to frame my face. This takes literally a couple of minutes from turning my curling iron on, to finishing the look. Other times, I feel like going curly all over.....and still this doesn't take more than 10 or 15 minutes. Its' really fun trying out new looks! 
    • You can transform your look with curling irons. Long hair or short, up or down, curling irons allow you to create a whole range of looks without going to the salon.  I have long hair now but didn't always. Even when my hair was shorter I could still create a great curly look with my curling iron. 

    If you think this is a look you'd like to be able to create again and again I can't recommend a curling iron highly enough. No one has time to spend hours doing their hair for one night out. It's easy, safe and opens up a range of different curly looks to you. 

    What to Look Out for When Buying a Curling Iron for Thick Hair

    Have I mentioned already that I have thick hair? It may have come up....and like I said, this is great. But it is more work. So you need to think about this when buying your curling irons. I've picked out a few features to think about. 

    • Not all curling irons heat to the same temperature. With thick hair heat is great. It helps hold the style and lets you fight gravity for longer. However, if your hair is colored, or is naturally fine (but lots of it!) you may want to go for a curling iron that gives you a choice in setting the temperature. 
    • If you have naturally curly or frizzy hair you may want to straighten your hair first. If you do, think about getting a curling iron that can also straighten your hair. Why buy two products, when one can do both jobs? 
    • Ceramic is a must. This is the science bit....Ceramic limits the damage to your hair. It provides only the heat needed to create the curl and releases negative ions that really do the damage to your hair. So if you're going to be regularly using curling irons, go ceramic.

    The Different Types of Curling Irons

    The different types of curling irons. I think it is probably worth just explaining the difference here:

    1. Hair Straighteners

    Hair Straighteners: Now this doesn't sound like a hair curling iron does it? But actually it is. Or rather it does both jobs. So you can have one product to give you two totally different looks. Or if you have naturally curly or frizzy hair, you can use your straighteners to prepare your hair into a sleek look to then curl. It's all about technique. If you go for the straighteners to create curly styles, you just need to know how to use them. Personally I use straighteners to curl my hair. I find it works best for my thick hair and gives me more control over the look I'm going for. You'll find lots of guides on the web, my top tip is to remember to section your hair off, clamp the hair halfway down the shaft and curl away from the face while slowly moving the straighteners down the hair shaft.

    2. A Curling Wand

    Yes these can't be used for straightening hair so you don't have the multi-use of the straightener, but you do have a product that creates great curls! Some curling wands come with clamps, which may help you when you're first trying to curl your hair, others are without. Some will also be a one size barrel, others will be thicker at the bottom and creating a cone shape, becoming thinner at the end. Certainly the cone shape lets you have more precision with your curls and allows you to even have a variety of size variations of curl.

    3. A Waving Iron

    This is a curling iron with more than one barrel. It creates the curl for you just by clamping your hair in the barrel. Only one style of curl can really be achieved; the size depending on the specific design of the iron you choose, but usually it gives a continuous wavy look to your hair and is certainly easy to use

    Check out this useful video below which goes into more detail on the various types of curling irons available.

    I've tried all of these, and think, depending on what you want, they're all great. I have my favourite, although it was a close call! 

    Reviews of the Best Curling Iron for Thick Hair

    So, like I said I have my favourite. For me I wanted one product that could do the lot. Give me the flexibility to have any look I wanted even if I choose to cut my long thick hair into a shortish bob! 

    HSI Professional 1 Ceramic Tournaline Ionic Flat Iron Hair Straightener

    hsiprofessional curler

    Well I pretty much loved this product. There isn't a lot I didn't like about it to be honest! 

    Don't get me wrong, sometimes I just put my hair in a ponytail and don't think twice about it. But other times I want to totally change my look and this product allows me to do just that. I could go with the sleek straight look, or add a few curls at the front, or go all out curly! I found an online video explaining exactly how to create the look I wanted and since then there's been no stopping me! ?


    • Straighten, flip or curl your hair
    • Temperature fully adjustable. From 240F to 400F. This is particularly useful for suiting different hair types. Regularly colored hair may need a lighter touch. Naturally curly hair will need a higher temperature. It is just really flexible, so suits everyone. 
    • Ceramic/tourmaline plates. So my hair is silky and shiny whether curly or straight. 
    • The plates are 1 inch wide. This means I can get right into the route and at the same time create thick (or thin) curls. 

    What's Good About It?

    There isn't a lot that isn't good about it. It just works. It's easy to create curls with the flash quick heating and swivel cord. The flexibility that this iron gives you is probably my favourite feature. Any style is easily achieved, no matter what type of hair you have. 

    What Could Be Improved?

    It would be good if this product had a "how to" guide with it. It isn't hard to find one on the web (in fact, it's harder to choose which one, than to find just one!) It would also be good if the iron had an automatic turn off as a safety feature in case you get distracted mid hair styling! 

    Remington CI9538 T Studio Collection Pearl Digital Ceramic Curling Wand 1-1 1/2 Inch

    remington curler

    A really great curling iron for anyone with thick hair. Heats up to 410 degrees in just 30 seconds


    • Heats up to 410 degrees Fahrenheit in just 30 seconds
    • Automatic shut off after 60 minutes - great safety feature
    • Conical shape lets you choose the size of curl you want. Thinner at the end, thicker at the base. 

    What's Good About It?

    Again, I needed to use the tutorials the first time I used this curling wand. I hadn't used a wand without a clamp before so I would recommend you check out how to use it before starting. But once you've seen it be used, it really is straightforward. Loved the flexibility of size of curl. Loved the lack of annoying kinks and lines because of no clamp. Great heat too, perfect for thick hair! 

    What Could Be Improved?

    A glove is a must have for this product. No clamp on the product means you're going to be getting close to your fingers in curling your hair. You don't want to touch your hands; 410 degrees Fahrenheit hurts! 

    Bed Head Deep Waver

    bed head deep waver

    Well this was one I hadn't tried before! It's like a crimping iron but brought up to date to give you a loose wave. Ceramic so you know your hair is protected and will stay frizz free. This curling iron was SO easy to use. You just hold the hair in the clamp, and because the barrel is already in the shape of the wave, you don't need to do anything more but pull it down your hair. I did miss the flexibility of styling, and ability to get right into the route. So found I had fewer options for style, and it didn't last as long as with other options. But for ease of use first time, this is great! 


    • Ceramic wave creator, it's really easy to get the wavy look
    • Instant heat recovery

    What's Good About It?

    The best thing about this product is definitely how easy it is to create waves. Found it also easy to do the back of my hair, as the technique is so simple. Being ceramic I didn't have to worry about my thick hair resisting the style a couple of hours after doing my hair either! 

    What Could Be Improved?

    This is a wave creator. It creates one type of style only. But it really does it well. You can't really improve on this design without going for a different type of curling iron. So for what it is, it's really great. Anyone who wants an easy to use, wave creator should really consider this product. 

    Final Verdict on Best Curling Iron for Thick Hair

    You can't really go wrong with any of these products. It's a matter of choice. 

    The Bed Head ?Deep Waver is great if you want a wavy look that's easy to create and holds even with thick hair. 

    The ?Remington CI9538 T Studio Salon Collection is brilliant for creating a whole range of curly styles. You'll need to get yourself a protective glove, but then you're away. A whole range of curly styles awaits with just a little practice. 

    But for me, the best is definitely the HSI Professional 1 Ceramic Tourmaline Ionic Flat Iron Hair Straightener. It just does the lot! You can use it for straightening and curling. And when I say curling, any style from tight curls to loose waves. The adjustable temperature lets you protect your colored hair. It gets right into the root when creating curls so you can be sure that even with the thickest hair you can create a style that will last. A great product, and I definitely recommend it for anyone with thick hair looking for a curling iron.  

    (1) comment

    Add Your Reply